The Phantom (1943) Serial - 15 Chapters
The Phantom (1943) is a Columbia Pictures 15 chapter serial starring Tom Tyler in the title role. The serial is based on Lee Falk's comic strip The Phantom. The serial also features Jeanne Bates as the Phantom's girlfriend Diana Palmer, and Ace the Wonder Dog as the Phantom's trusty German shepherd Devil (who is a wolf in the original comic).
Producer Columbia Pictures - Rudolph C. FlothowProduction Company Columbia PicturesAudio/Visual sound, Black and White
Professor Davidson plans an expedition to find the Lost City of Zoloz. The location of the city is contained on seven pieces of ivory, three of which Davidson already possesses. Doctor Bremmer, however, intends to find the lost city and use it as a secret airbase for his unnamed country. To remove him as an obstacle, he kills The Phantom, only for his recently returned son, Geoffrey Prescott, to inherit the family identity and take over the mantle of The Phantom.
Three of the remaining ivory pieces are owned by Singapore Smith, who initially steals Davidson's pieces. The seventh, and most important, piece is missing at first but turns up in the possession of Tarter (which The Phantom acquires by wrestling Tarter's pet gorilla).
The Phantom: Tom Tyler
Diana Palmer: Jeanne Bates
Devil: Ace the Wonder Dog
Director: B. Reeves Eason
Producer: Rudolph C. Flothow
Comic Strip Creator: Lee Falk
September 16, 2014
I don't think any of these serials were ever meant to be remotely plausible. Once you accept that fact, they can be fun. For some reason, Phantom is transferred from Darkest Africa to someplace apparently in South America. Phantom's dog rescues him from quicksand by throwing him a rope. In the 3rd episode he's attacked by an African lion. That's as far as I have got, but I look forward to the rest. Tim Tyler looks good in tights.
October 18, 2009
This is a western-style serial. Imagine The Lone Ranger with Rin Tin Tin as his sidekick, and set in the jungle instead of the old west. It's coherent and decently acted, if not very compelling. Scripting and acting really take a dive when the expedition reaches Tartar, but rebound.
There are no recap chapters, but the recaps at the beginning of later chapters are longer than in earlier ones.
I downloaded the Cinepack files, which are actually AVIs. Audio is slightly out of sync with video in a number of early episodes. Otherwise audio and video are OK.